Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s career at Barcelona is off and running as the former Arsenal striker scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 win over Valencia on Sunday.
After joining as a free agent in the closing stages of the January transfer window, Aubameyang failed to score in his first three appearances for Barca. But the 32-year-old had struck twice in the first half against Valencia and he completed his hat-trick after the break with a stroke of fortune as he deflected Pedri’s goal-bound effort.
Pedri was initially credited with the goal before it was subsequently changed, and Aubameyang has now become the first player in the 21st century to score a hat-trick in Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, the Premier League and La Liga.
Aubameyang has also become the first player to score two hat-tricks in competitive games at Mestalla as he also netted a treble for Arsenal in the Europa League in 2019. It was only a matter of time but the striker has also become the first Gabonese player to score in La Liga.
Speaking after the game, Barca boss Xavi praised Aubameyang’s display and said the striker is ‘very intelligent’.
‘He has scored goals his entire career,’ said Xavi. ‘It was to be expected that he would score here soon, too. He goes very well to space. He is mature. He is very intelligent. I am delighted with him. These two [subsequently changed to three] goals will go very well for him.’
The coach observed that Aubameyang has four traits that set him apart: “He has scored goals all his career. He gets into space well. He is mature, intelligent, humble, and positive.”
- A Tell / Metro report